Surely, it must be the times we live in. As I summon memories I remember that when I went to a hostel, away from home, my mother had said, “Enjoy the freedom. But do not fall in love and dare not have ‘boyfriends’. Coming from city based doctor parents, the words remained a tattoo on my memory. And needless to say doomed my college life!
Today my mom is a cool granny who frets and laments that her teen grandson, is not in a relationship. “Poor guy, he doesn't have a girlfriend.”
When I ask her, “Why were the restrictions only for me?”
She shrugs, “Times have changed, so have I.”
Welcome to the times where grannies are genuinely concerned about the love life of their grandchildren.
If you are a twenty something, struggling with degrees, qualifications, and placements, then the month of February triggers panic. This month I have read dozens of posts where youngsters are wallowing in the misery of bachelorhood. The point is: Must the youngsters always oscillate between pressures? You are cool, or hot or whatever, only if you are with an arm candy?
And who says that? I can hear raucous laughter coming from the shop owners who sell silly red pillows with a cupid’s arrow embroidered on it which is symbolic of eternal love. And damn Facebook! Why should we have to announce to the world about our relationship status? Relationship is not an acquisition for the world to comment. It is not about posting pictures with that debonair tomcat or the happening temptress. Nor is it not about seeking acceptance on a public platform.
Nobody, nobody tells you, “Relax, it will all come your way, sooner or later.” I read an article that in the month of February the Chinese internet was abuzz with messages like, “spring festival is coming. My parents want me home with a boyfriend. So I decided to rent one. Requirements: 180 cm, mature, nice , respectful and working. Payment 3,000 Yuan for a week- Xiaoyu888.
Single Chinese professionals are renting fake boyfriends and girlfriends in a desperate measure to cope with spending a week at home with conservative parents. In the month of February millions of Chinese travel home for family reunion during the lunar New Year. They ‘lose face’ if they do not have a marriageable partner. In Chengdu, a girl stood on the road with a banner offering 10,000 Yuan (66,000Rs) for a fake boyfriend for five days. Rented romance includes deals, stipulating obligations and price.
There was a story about a fake girlfriend who kept forgetting her lines, to the consternation of the young man who had hired her and trained her on what to say to his parents. The professional men are too busy to find a real girlfriend or cannot afford one as they just graduated from college.
For some it might be a great idea to ward off parental pressure. Yet, imagine the plight of the poor guy who rents a fake girlfriend, carrying a fake LV bag, giving a fake smile fluttering fake eyelashes at his real relatives? And what if the rented boyfriend is a greedy jerk who blackmails to shell out more money, lest he exposes the secret? And if he spills the beans one is left with no boyfriend and no family. Disaster!
Of course love is a beautiful emotion. It is any day better to send those red pillows with cupid’s arrow rather than hate messages. Today money can buy spectrum, ministries, contracts and morals…just about everything. I hope we do not end up as a society where we have to buy love.
Yes, coming from someone who was hooked, booked and almost cooked, long ago the post sounds like a crow bristling for no reason at all. Even at the risk of it, I have to say. “It will come to you sooner or later”. Till then rock with your bachelorhood and roll with your independence!